It was a record year for Hall of Fame school group visits.
The 2011-2012 school year saw record numbers of school groups and education programs delivered at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. Nearly 9000 students from over 100 unique schools visited the Reds Hall of Fame to participate in one of the education program offerings, tour the museum, and tour Great American Ball Park. Over 4600 students visited during the month of May alone, which was an all-time record museum attendance total for schools in a single month.
Most school groups chose to participate in at least one of the museum's six education programs, presented by Duke Energy. These interactive programs allow students, grade K-12, to discover the links between baseball and subjects such as mathematics, science, and social studies. The most popular program continued to be "Build A Baseball Team," in which students work in small groups to select a nine player team while considering both the group's overall payroll budget and a player's statistical worth. Other programs saw students using the scientific method in conducting baseball related experiments, recreating a modern day Reds game using 1940 radio technology, and becoming part of a baseball orchestra while singing Take Me Out To The Ballgame. All education programs are correlated to academic content standards, with adjustments being made for the new Common Core State Standards.
Many groups also received guided tours of both the museum and Great American Ball Park. These tours offered in-depth explanations behind the players and themes of each museum exhibit, as well as a "behind the scenes" look into the Press Box and dugout within Great American Ball Park. School groups are permitted to bring their own lunches to the museum, and students eat in the Great American Ball Park Fan Zone during their scheduled lunch time. All of these activities make for a full day that affords students and teachers an educational, engaging, and enjoyable field trip.
Unfortunately, more and more school districts are facing budgetary restrictions that reduce or eliminate the opportunity to take field trips. With this in mind, the 2011-2012 school year marked the inaugural year for the Reds Hall of Fame's Outreach program. This initiative brings the museum's six education programs directly to individual classrooms in the greater Cincinnati region. Each student who participates in an Outreach program also receives a free ticket for a future visit the museum. In its first year, over 1000 students participated in these Outreach programs, and the number of participants will most likely continue to grow.
Both on-site and Outreach programs are scheduled "on demand" at mutually convenient dates and times, and please contact the Education Manager at 513.765.7922 to reserve your spot for the 2012-2013 school year. Thank you to all of the teachers, students, parents, and school administrators who helped to make this past school year the most successful in Reds Hall of Fame history, and we look forward to having you with us again in the year ahead!